Improve Yourself this Lent!
By asking us to focus on God, Lent presents us with an opportunity to improve ourselves. FR RALPH DE HAHN tells how.
There may be times when we are confused about the resolutions we make for the season of Lent, which we know to be a period set aside by the Church for a spiritual renewal.
So while fasting is a problem for millions of people, we still need to meditate on some other “signposts” on our earthly pilgrimage, and this collection may offer something that might just set you on another road.
- Make peace with your past, don’t allow it to screw up your future. Also don’t try to control the future.
- Remember that unless the Lord builds the house, we labour in vain!
- Make room for the Holy Spirit, wait for the Lord, for such waiting is never a waste of time. Trust God rather than men and do not waste time waiting for miracles because they are already with us, all the time — only we fail to recognise them.
- Be careful not to be caught up in illusions or by the tide of so-called “progress”. Be ever in touch with reality, not fantasy.
- Refuse to be simply a number or a statistic; and don’t be overly impressed with degrees and diplomas. Rather be impressed with the person, for a bird in song needs no credentials!
- Be yourself. You are unique, but still listen to what critics say about you, because your friends may well hide uncomfortable facts from you.
On the other hand, do not live to fulfil the expectation of others. It is far better to be than to have.
- Give God permission to use you and your gifts for his purpose. Learn to sing and dance the music of all creation, and take delight in laughing at yourself—it is truly a relaxing exercise.
- Contentment is such a precious possession. Remember: I can never wrong another without also wronging myself, and I am truly off-centre when I am self-centred.
In fact, when the ego dies, all problems die! If you never condemn another, you will have no need to practise forgiveness.
- Above all, be flexible, ever-aware of who you are, and why, and what the Lord has given you; be ever grateful and generous. And learn to understand the absolute necessity to love all creation and the people God has created in his image. It will colour your entire life.
- A very solid foundation for any life is simply this: God first, my neighbour second, myself last. It really does work.
- As believing Christians we are already rich; rich enough to share with the have-nots, to love and not to count the cost.
Of course, as the song from the 1940s says, into each life some rain will fall. When it does, so what? No rain, no rainbow!
Now, this is a lot to digest. The good news is, we have all of Lent to work on it.
Life is indeed fragile, so handle with prayer.